Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk.IV
1/72 aircraft scale plastic model kit
Manufacturer: Sword (Czech)
Condition: New in Box
The Lockheed F-94 Starfire was the United States Air Force's first operational jet-powered all-weather interceptor aircraft. It was a development byLockheed from the twin-seat T-33 Shooting Star trainer aircraft.Built to a 1948 USAF specification for a radar-equipped interceptor to replace the aging F-61 Black Widow and North American F-82 Twin Mustang, it was specifically designed to counter the threat of the USSR's new Tupolev Tu-4bombers (reverse-engineered Boeing B-29). The Curtiss-Wright XF-87 Blackhawk had been designated to be the USAF first jet night fighter, but its performance was sub par, and Lockheed was asked to design a jet night fighter on a crash program basis.The F-94 was derived from the TF-80C (later T-33A Shooting Star) which was a two-seat trainer version of the F-80 Shooting Star. A lengthened nose area with guns, radar and automatic fire control system was added. Since the conversion seemed so simple, a contract was awarded to Lockheed in early 1949, with the first flight on 16 April 1949. The early test YF-94s used seventy-five percent of the parts used in the earlier F-80 and T-33AsThe added weight of the electronic equipment required a more powerful engine, so the standard J-33 turbojet engine, which had been fitted to the T-33A, was replaced with an afterburning Allison J33-A-33. The combination reduced the internal fuel capacity. The F-94 was to be the first US production jet with an afterburner. The J33-A-33 had standard thrust of 4,000 pounds-force (18 kN), and with water injection this was increased to 5,400 pounds-force (24 kN) and with afterburning a maximum of 6,000 pounds-force (27 kN) thrust.The F-94C Starfire was extensively modified from the early F-94 variants. In fact, it was initially designated F-97, but it was ultimately decided to treat it as a new version of the F-94. USAF interest was lukewarm, so Lockheed funded development themselves, converting two F-94B airframes to YF-94C prototypes for evaluation. To improve performance, a completely new, much thinner wing was designed, along with a swept tail surface. The J33 engine was replaced with a more powerful Pratt & Whitney J48, a license-built version of the afterburningRolls-Royce Tay, which dramatically increased power, producing a dry thrust of 6,350 pounds-force (28.2 kN) and with afterburning, approximately 8,750 pounds-force (38.9 kN).Another early detachment was the 59th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, (all-weather, night-fighter interceptor,) which was sent to Goose Bay, Labrador in November, 1952 and placed under the control of Northeast Air Command (NEAC). One flight from the 59th FIS was kept at Thule Air Base to back up the DEW Line.
The F-94B remained in USAF service through 1954 before being transferred to the Air National Guard. In ANG service, some were modified with a pod under each wing for two additional .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, bringing the total to eight.
The first production F-94C aircraft were delivered in July 1951, 387 examples being delivered before May 1954. The largest problem discovered in service was the nose-mounted rockets, which blinded the crew with their smoke and fire. The most severe problem associated with firing the nose-mounted rockets was that the exhaust could cause a flameout of the jet engine, which could lead to loss of the aircraft. Mid-wing fuel and rocket pods were added, each holding 12 rockets. Most of the time, the nose rockets were not installed, and the mid-wing pod rockets were the sole armament. This version of the aircraft was extensively used within the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) air defense system.
The F-94C was retired from USAF service in 1959, as newer and more capable interceptors entered service. Air National Guard units retired their F-94s a year later.
|A USAF F-94B Starfire in flight|
|National origin||United States|
|First flight||16 April 1949|
|Retired||February 1959 USAF
|Primary users||United States Air Force
Air National Guard
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- Stock: Out Of Stock
- Model: Sword72043
- DATE ADDED: 22/03/2014